Jury Finds Cincinnati-Area Priest Guilty in Sex Abuse Trial
September 22, 2013
CINCINNATI —A priest charged with taking a 10-year-old boy to West Virginia for sex more than two decades ago was found guilty on Friday.
Federal jurors in Cincinnati found Robert Poandl guilty of one count of transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent of engaging him in sex, a charge that carries a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Poandl, from the suburban Cincinnati-based Glenmary Home Missioners, took the boy to Spencer, W.Va., on Aug. 3, 1991, and raped him while visiting a church there, prosecutors said. Poandl's attorney, Stephen Wenke, told jurors the allegations were false and denied the boy was even on the trip.
The accuser, who's now in his 30s, waited until 2009 before telling law enforcement officials in West Virginia that he'd been abused. Poandl was indicted there on charges accusing him of sexually abusing the boy, but a judge dismissed those charges in 2010.
Assistant U.S. attorney Tim Oakley told jurors that the priest told the boy's parents he needed someone to ride with him to keep him awake and navigate and then raped the boy after they arrived at the West Virginia church. But Wenke said the accuser's story changed through the years and was full of inconsistencies.
The latest charge was filed last year in Cincinnati. The trial began Monday after U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett had earlier rejected a defense motion to dismiss the case over a statute of limitations. The judge ruled the prosecution clearly alleged an offense involving sexual abuse of a child, and federal law permits prosecution of child sexual abuse at any time during the life of the accuser.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse.
The Glenmary religious order is a society of priests and brothers who dedicate themselves to establishing a Catholic presence in rural areas and small towns.
Officials with the US Attorney's Office said Poandl was released on bond. There has been no word from Poandl's attorney about their reaction to the verdict.
WLWT is told he Poandl be sentenced within the next 70 days.